An instrument to measure students' perception of the authenticity of an out-of-school learning place
The instrument presented here can be used as a one factor scale with good to very good test characteristics, if an overall measure of perceived authenticity of place is needed. The two subscales with cognitive and emotional focus could also be used separately, as their test characteristics are also satisfactory to good. Due to its short format and administration time (around 2 minutes) the instrument can be well integrated in the evaluation of out-of-school learning places.
The scale was developed specifically for a research institute and has to be adapted for other out-of-school learning places such as museums, science centres or field trips. For future research it will be interesting to include other dimensions of perceived authenticity (such as authenticity of a person, e.g. the scientist at a research institute) and to study their combined effects on educational outcomes. Work along these lines within the framework of a larger research project on out-of-school science learning is in progress.